The EFL Championship title race is so finely poised it will go down to who wants it the most.

Wobbly Leicester City are clinging on to top spot on goal difference, albeit with a game in hand over second-placed Ipswich Town and Leeds United in third.

Yet the picture could have been significantly different had one of the protagonists capitalised on rivals’ setbacks.

Promotion rival fans were put through the wringer in the last couple of rounds, a ride on a roller-coaster of emotions, with frustration not too far away from elation and relief.

Over the last two fixture rounds alone, Ipswich Town and Leeds United each dropped four points, while Leicester City dropped three. Such slip-ups during the run-in would normally prove costly.

All the top three sides will be kicking themselves for failing to take full advantage when their rivals were pegged back. It has been a tale of missed opportunities as the trio took turns to spurn opportunities to seize the initiative.

As the title contenders continue to cancel each other out and slip-ups go unpunished, it begs the question; who wants it the most?

Foxes’ slender advantage

After throwing away a huge lead, Leicester City had done reasonably well in recent games to staunch the bleeding.

But no sooner had they found their bearings again than they had the wind knocked out of their sails, with two defeats in their last three games.

Leicester City fans must be wondering where it all went wrong. Given how dominant the Foxes were for the better part of the season, the expectation was that promotion would have been all but sewn up by now, with a few games to spare.

On the bright side, the Foxes have a game in hand. With just a point separating first and third the game in reserve represents pure gold, a huge advantage. However, they must still go out and earn the three points.

Enzo Maresca’s men get the weekend action underway with a trip to relegation-threatened Plymouth Argyle on Friday evening. It’s an opportunity to steal a march on promotion rivals and consolidate top spot.

Anything other than a win will give Ipswich and Leeds United some encouragement ahead of their respective ties against Middlesbrough and Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.

Talking about Middlesbrough, Michael Carrick’s men could have a say in who prevails between Ipswich and Leeds United. After facing Ipswich on the weekend, Boro, who have an outside chance of reaching the play-offs, take on Leeds United in the penultimate round of the fixtures.

Cinderella story

The Ipswich Town story tugs at neutrals and football romantics’ heart strings. For newbies to insert themselves into the promotion squabble from the first day and stay in the hunt is a remarkable feat, especially considering the quality of the opponents.

The Tractor Boys have disrupted the pre-season narrative that had all three Premier League dropouts as promotion favourites. Kieran McKenna’s men have been obdurate all season and simply refused to go away. To still be in the hunt, not just for automatic promotion, but also for the Championship title, with four games to play is a massive achievement.

Down to the wire

Despite their inconsistencies Leicester City, Ipswich Town and Leeds United have been in a league of their own this term.

It would be a travesty if whoever misses out on automatic promotion from the current top three also goes on to miss out on promotion via the play-offs. And yet that’s exactly what could happen.


I'm Barrie Jarrett, born in Leeds, lived over a decade in South Africa, CEO And Co Founder of Planet Sport Limited and Planet Bet Limited.

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